The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) is a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun. The new possible energy source set a new world record yesterday by managing to keep the plasma at a high temperature for 20 seconds. How tall? More than 100 million degrees.
From report on Phys.Org
On November 24 (Tuesday), the KSTAR Research Center at the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KEF) announced that in a joint research with Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University of the United States, it has succeeded in continuous operation plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature above 100 million degrees, which is one of the central conditions of nuclear fusion in the KSTAR Plasma 2020 campaign.
It is a result that extends the plasma run time by more than 2x (it was 8 seconds during the 2019 KSTAR test). In its experiment the year before, 2018, the KSTAR had reached the temperature of 100 million degrees for the first time (for about 1,5 seconds).
KSTAR a (another) sun on Earth
The structures currently under construction aim to create a plasma state where ions and electrons are separated and ions are heated and maintained at high temperatures.
In its 2020 experiment, KSTAR improved the performance of the internal transport barrier mode (ITB), one of the next-generation plasma operating modes developed last year.
Being able to maintain the plasma state for an extended period of time, overcoming the existing limitations of ultra-high temperature plasma operation, is an important step in the right direction.